Here’s an alarming fact: Thyroid disorder is an increasingly common chronic health condition, especially among young women.
The thyroid can either become over or underactive, both of which can pose health problems. Medical therapies—such as oral hormonal therapy—is used to increase or decrease the activity of the gland, to attempt and keep the hormone levels in an optimal level. While there are no current dietary therapies that can remedy thyroid hormone imbalance, the paleo diet has been touted by many to aid in decreasing the inflammation that is thought to contribute to thyroid dysfunction.
Rich in medium chain triglyceride, coconut oil is thought to aid a sluggish or slow thyroid by helping to boost energy and metabolism. MCT oil aids the body to burn fat and use the body’s natural fat stores. While MCT oil will not directly solve a thyroid condition, adding it to your diet may help boost energy or the metabolism associated with a low thyroid.
Try: Add bulletproof coffee to your morning routine or sauté your vegetables in a tablespoon of coconut oil.
Paleo experts Robb Wolf and Stephanie Greunke have an excellent article on why carbohydrates are important for thyroid function, especially in women. Having too few carbohydrates in your diet could actually negatively impact your hormone function and put too much stress on your body, including your thyroid.
Chris Kesser DC also penned an article on the topic entitled “Is a Low Carb Diet Ruining Your Health” which discusses the importance of a well-balanced diet, including carbohydrates. He emphasized his theory regarding the importance of high-quality carbohydrate intake in conditions like hypothyroidism and HPA Axis dysfunction. Including fruits and vegetables with high-quality carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, butternut squash and bananas to play an important part of a balanced paleo diet.
Do Goiterogens Exist?
A great deal of controversy surrounds the concept of ‘goiterogenic’ vegetables or vegetables traditionally considered to possibly increase the risk of causing a thyroid goiter (or an enlarged thyroid gland). Vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts have been maligned over the years and are included in this list.
Mickey Trescott, from Autoimmune-Paleo put this issue to rest. It’s unlikely that eating too many vegetables will contribute to thyroid dysfunction. However, avoiding a plethora of healthy foods on the list could negatively impact your health.
Many paleo experts tout the benefits of sleep and regulating the circadian rhythms as part of the overall paleo lifestyle. Taking care of your body and getting plenty of rest is part of improving your body’s overall hormonal health–including the thyroid.
The Paleo Mom, Dr Sarah Ballantyne wrote a very in-depth and substantive article that really gets down to the details on how sleep and stress can negatively impact your hormones.
AARDA. American Autoimmune Related Diseasess Association. Description of Diseases.
Ballantyne, Sarah Chronic Stress Leads To Hormone Imbalance 23 Aug 2014
Greunke, Stephanie. Females, Carbohydrates and Hormones. http://robbwolf.com/2014/02/20/females-carbohydrates-hormones/
Kesser, Chris. Is a Low Carb Diet Ruining Your Health. 26 Aug 14
Trescott, Mickey BUSTING THE GOITROGEN MYTH 19 Dec 2013
Thyroid Problems and Coconut oil. The Wellness Mama.
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